Game On

Arkansas Democrat-Gazette - - STYLE - JA­SON BEN­NETT

Ti­tle: Res­i­dent Evil 2 (2019) Plat­form: Win­dows, PlaySta­tion 4, Xbox One

Cost: $59.99

Rat­ing: Ma­ture for Blood and Gore, In­tense Vi­o­lence and Strong Lan­guage

Score: 10 out of 10

I can hear them all around me as I run through the dark, claus­tro­pho­bic and blood-spat­tered hall­ways of the Rac­coon City po­lice sta­tion — the groans and cries of once-hu­man zom­bies shuf­fling to­ward me, the slith­er­ing, skit­ter­ing sound of mu­tated dogs that can crawl across the ceil­ing, and the heavy, thump­ing foot­steps of an un­kil­l­able Tyrant-class mu­tant re­lent­lessly stalk­ing me from be­hind. I check my gun.

Only two bul­lets re­main, not enough to put down a sin­gle en­emy.

There’s no way out, and the only way is for­ward, so I keep run­ning deeper into the labyrinth, hop­ing to find some more ammo and put dis­tance be­tween me and the un­stop­pable juggernaut be­hind me.

This is Res­i­dent Evil 2 as it was meant to be played.

Orig­i­nally re­leased by Cap­com for the PlaySta­tion in 1998, this re­make brings back the same heart-pound­ing sto­ry­line from the orig­i­nal, but with mod­ern-day graph­ics, mu­sic and sound de­sign. You’ll play as ei­ther rookie cop Leon Kennedy or col­lege stu­dent Claire Red­field as they try to es­cape from Rac­coon City dur­ing a zom­bie apoc­a­lypse.

The game was re­made us­ing the same game en­gine as Res­i­dent Evil 7, the lat­est en­try in the series, and sold a re­spectable 3 mil­lion copies in its first week.

Leon and Claire have sought refuge in a mu­seum-turned-po­lice-sta­tion, but the sit­u­a­tion in­side is just as aw­ful as out­side. As play­ers nav­i­gate the twist­ing hall­ways and many rooms, they’ll un­cover se­crets — such as the role biotech firm Um­brella Corp. played in this apoc­a­lypse, and the real­iza­tion that some­times the worst mon­sters are other peo­ple.

Through­out the game, you’ll be end­lessly hunted by Mr. X, a 7-foot-tall Tyrant-class mu­tant do­ing his best Michael My­ers im­pres­sion, and who makes an en­trance by smash­ing through a wall and

squish­ing a jour­nal­ist’s head like an over­ripe tomato.

The first play through of the game isn’t ter­ri­bly long — just 10 or so hours. How­ever, the game has al­ter­nate end­ings that re­quire mul­ti­ple play throughs.

The “true end­ing” re­quires beat­ing the game with Leon and Claire. Once the game has been beaten the first time, se­lect the other char­ac­ter and choose the 2nd Run op­tion from the main menu. This mode will open an al­ter­nate story set in the same time­frame as the first play through.

In the 2nd Run mode, although it uses the same set, you’ll nav­i­gate the po­lice sta­tion through a dif­fer­ent en­trance and find some doors that were un­locked by the other char­ac­ter in the first play through. There are also dif­fer­ences in where items and en­e­mies are, and you’ll en­counter new en­emy types and have to solve puz­zles that have dif­fer­ent so­lu­tions than in the first play through.

There’s also an in­cen­tive, as in past Res­i­dent Evil games, to go on re­play­ing the game. Each sec­tion of the game is timed, and clear­ing it faster gives you a higher rank, un­lock­ing per­ma­nent bonuses such as weapons with un­lim­ited ammo.

There are three dif­fi­culty modes — As­sisted, Nor­mal and Hard­core. As­sisted mode has an auto-aim func­tion; char­ac­ters re­gain some health au­to­mat­i­cally; and en­e­mies are a lit­tle weaker. In Hard­core mode, there is no au­to­matic sav­ing; en­e­mies are much tougher to kill, and play­ers have to col­lect and use a fi­nite num­ber of type­writer rib­bons to save their progress.

Cap­com is also re­leas­ing a free down­load­able up­date to the game this month ti­tled The Ghost Sur­vivors, which will play through the sto­ries of three mi­nor char­ac­ters that didn’t make it out alive dur­ing the events of Res­i­dent Evil 2.

The first Res­i­dent Evil 2 is con­sid­ered a hor­ror clas­sic, and in cre­at­ing this re­make, Cap­com wisely de­cided not to monkey around with a win­ning for­mula. The con­trols and cam­eras are dif­fer­ent (the orig­i­nal didn’t have the over­the-shoul­der, third-player view), which makes it eas­ier to aim and to hit en­e­mies, but to make up for that, en­e­mies are tougher to kill.

Reg­u­lar zom­bies take three bul­lets to the head. Lick­ers, the mu­tated, wall-crawl­ing dogs with 10-foot, pre­hen­sile tongues that are the bane of my ex­is­tence, take four or five shot­gun rounds to put down.

In a game that fea­tures an al­most small amount of am­mu­ni­tion (es­pe­cially in the early stages), ev­ery com­bat en­counter comes with risk. Ev­ery bul­let comes with the ques­tion, “Do I need to use this here, or should I just try to run past the zom­bie in­stead?”

Along with the hugely up­dated graph­ics, Res­i­dent Evil 2 fea­tures ex­cel­lent sound de­sign, with creak­ing doors, thun­der, drip­ping blood and un­dead moans giv­ing ev­ery mo­ment just the right amount of ten­sion and sus­pense.

Res­i­dent Evil 2 is a treat for veter­ans of the orig­i­nal and those who haven’t yet got­ten a chance to ex­pe­ri­ence the best of the fran­chise’s creepy, at­mo­spheric thrillers.

CAP­COM

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